This is the last Monday before real games start for the Hawkeyes. Today we look at a couple of #5s, one of which is a native Iowan coming home after spurning his home school but is now sitting in NCAA limbo while, the other is a four-star athlete that also spurned his home school. An interesting combination.
Jestin Jacobs — Freshman
Englewood, OH (Northmont)
6’4”, 220 lbs
2019 Projection: Reserve Linebacker/Special Teams
Oliver Martin — RS Sophomore
Coralville, IA (Iowa City West)
6’1”, 200 lbs
2019 Projection: Wide Receiver or maybe sitting out the year — who knows.
Jacobs comes to Iowa from Ohio. A four-star recruit and an Army All-American Game invitee as a high school senior, Jacobs committed to Iowa and even after a late push by Ohio State, remained committed and signed with Iowa.
After the whole Eno Benjamin fiasco, it was widely assumed that Jacob’s visit to Ohio State for a game and then an official visit would result in his scholarship offer being pulled and him becoming a Buckeye. Fortunately, because everyone was upfront during the whole process, Jacobs remained a Hawkeye.
Jacobs enrolled in January so he had an early chance to learn the defense. He suffered through some injuries in camp but is apparently healthy now and at the very least should have some (up to four games) opportunities on special teams. If he can make an impact, he may be able to avoid a redshirt.
Most of his senior year highlights were focused on him as a running back but it’s easy to see the speed and power that he possesses. With nine months under Coach Doyle already, I’m anxious to see his contributions this season.
What can be said about Oliver Martin that hasn’t already been said? In a nutshell, a four-star rated WR recruit from Iowa City was charmed by the antics of Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh and left the state to head north. Two years later, the state’s favorite son comes back home to Iowa but sits in NCAA decision limbo.
While the circumstances around the transfer (positional coaching change, etc.) seem similar to others that have been granted a waiver to play immediately. It often seems like these waivers only go to players that are going to “important” schools. With the length of time this has taken, I’m not optimistic, but I will remain hopeful for some good news this week.
Why all the fuss? Some of the schools that initially offered Martin besides Iowa and Michigan include: Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, Auburn, Oregon, and UCLA. I’ll take any player that is offered by that list of schools every day and twice on Sunday.
In the next video, at the 12:50 mark you can see Martin catching his only touchdown while at Michigan. I would love to see this ten times a year over the next three seasons.
Hopefully a favorable decision can be reached on Martin soon and he can become another weapon in what could become a special season for the Hawkeyes.